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Amanda Beal, currently of Portland, who grew up on a Maine dairy farm to become a leader on agricultural issues in Maine and beyond, has been chosen to serve as president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust (MFT).
Beal has been working for MFT since early 2015, most recently as vice president. She came to MFT having worked previously on a wide variety of agricultural issues as a policy advocate, a researcher, and the manager of a retail food store that supported numerous local farms. She has also been instrumental in securing the future of her family’s dairy farm in Litchfield, by helping to design a process to transition the farm from one generation to the next, enabling her youngest brother to acquire and run the farm. Beal has chaired the board of several key organizations, including the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), the Eat Local Foods Coalition of Maine, and Cultivating Community—a Portland-based nonprofit that operates community gardens and a pioneering program that supports immigrants who farm.
Among Beal’s many accomplishments is her role as co-author of A New England Food Vision, a highly regarded and widely referenced study that identified how New England could grow far more of its own food, and the important role Maine could play in this effort.
Beal holds a master degree from Tufts University, where she attended the Agriculture, Food and Environment program, and is in the process of completing a dissertation for a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire.
“We are so pleased that we’ve attracted someone with Amanda’s exceptional skills and experience to serve as our next president,” said Taylor Mudge, MFT’s board chair. “She is a rare person who combines practical experience in farming with a deep knowledge of where farming is headed, and what we need to do to realize farming’s full potential.”